Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church
Hot Springs Village, Arkansas
Firstly, I want to take time to thank all those who took a service roll in our Christmas Masses, especially our music people led by our organist and choir director, Lynne Border.  Those who partiipated in the 4:00 p.m. Vigil Mass or 10:00 a.m. Christmas Mass were treated to the beautiful opera-quality voice of Bill and Kathleen Nosek's grand daughter, Natalie.  She was simply wonderful in the two songs she sang solo.  I also want to thank those who helped in ALL that went in to our Angel Tree efforts to help needy families.  I applaud and thank you for your efforts.  Ed and Claudia Keearns coordinated this effort and along with others, make it run seemingly like clockwork.  Thanks to all!  Lastly on things related to Christmas, I thank all those who donated to the Clergy Welfare Fund that provides the funding to support our diocesan priests in their retirement as well as our sick and infirmed priests.

I also really appreciate those who take the time to bless me at Christmas with beautiful Christmas cards, novena prayers, material gifts, and kind, supportive words of thanks.  You are such a special blessing to me.

As I had in mind what the rest of my pastor's column would be about this week, I noticed that right across from where my column would be when it is finished, are images of the Holy Family and another picture of a baby.  My topic was to be, and  still is, about the importance of the most innocent and fragile of human beings, babies both inside and outside of their mother's womb.  As we contemplate Jesus when He was born to Mary and the earliest times of His life during the Christmas season, we give thanks and praise to God for His life and what He ultimately did for us (through His passion, death and resurrection), we are urged and encouraged to keep the focus on babies, especially those of our time, and protect and support them in ways that we can.  To that end, I would encourage not only attendance at the March for Life on January 21, (see announcement to the right of this column), but also to consider giving to "Arkansas Right to Life" which advocates for legal protection of children in their mother's womb.  Thier address is 1515 South University Ave, Little Rock, AR 72204.  I also ask everyone to participate in our parish baby shower by bringing baby items to church (see announcement to the right of this column).  These will be given out to moms who need help to care for their children.  Please don't just look at the babies on this page and smile.  Do something for them in your name and in the name of Jesus Christ, the author of all life!